the Little Red Reviewer

Random ponderings which equate to: I am odd.

Posted on: March 21, 2012


Why don’t I watch more tv? Television is easy, available, and often populated by handsome people. Sometimes I wonder if I haven’t got a smidge of ye olde attention deficit disorder. I can curl up on the sofa reading and not move for three hours, but pay attention to a one hour tv show? Yikes.  Or maybe it’s all the insultingly stupid commercials.  there are some great TV shows out there, many available sans adverts on Netflix and other streaming services. So what the hell is my problem?  stay tuned for a drunken essay* on this.

If what we read has some connection to escapism and wish fulfillment, what the fuck is wrong with me? I crave ultra dark fiction, the darker, the stranger, and the more dangerous, the better. I’m not talking blood and guts or serial killers, I’m talking the dark, tragic and painful kind, full of betrayal and heartbreak.  If like me, you’ve been outed as someone who likes that type of thing, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  What the fuck is wrong with me? I certainly don’t want to live rough, bathe only when it rains, steal stuff, starve, live in a cemetery, climb drainpipes in the rain, sleep under bridges, fall off horses, have a price put on my head, get betrayed, get chased by unnatural creatures, chill out with hookers, get tortured, get papercuts, get paid to hurt someone else, get blackmailed by sorcerers, or run through the woods while barefoot. I’m as far as a person can get from being an antihero haunted by violence or regret.  I’m a slightly odd but very nice person with a cushy life, a steady job, and the best husband on the planet. I’m a total wuss who won’t even walk to the mailbox barefoot.  So again, WTF? or maybe what we read has nothing at all to do with wish fulfillment?

oh wait, I do have a regret: not taking more literature classes in high school and college.  Also, I played some really crappy cards the other nigh tin Ticket to Ride: India.  ok, two teensy silly regrets easily fixed by next semester’s community college course catalog and a board game rematch.
My overly cluttered apartment is driving me crazy. Time for some spring cleaning, which means some of these books have got to go. It looks like a library sorting room exploded in here. Me thinks there may be some give aways of gently read books happening here soon. stay tuned.

With the spiffy blog, i’m always feeling pressured to read new things, which means my favorite rarely get reread.  Other blogger buddies, how do you solve this?  Do you reread at your whim?

Speaking of wish fulfillment,  if you attended a scifi-fantasy convention, how likely would you be to attend a panel about blogging?

*you’ve been drinking, so it seems like the most amazing piece of writing in the world. And then you wake up and read it sober, and wonder what the fuck were you thinking? Those aren’t even sentences! Is that even English?

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27 Responses to "Random ponderings which equate to: I am odd."

Ha! If you are odd then you are in good odd company.

As for the television I don’t watch hardly any “live” television. Even shows I like, like Castle, end up getting watched much later when the whole season is out on DVD or Netflix. If my wife and I sit down in front of the tv we are generally watching some new to us British mystery (Rosemary and Thyme is our current love) or are rewatching our favorite period films, mostly Jane Austen adaptations. I don’t feel I’m missing out on anything.

As for books, I read what I want. I occasionally am guided in my reading by a group read someone is hosting and I do tend to focus on certain genres during certain times of the year. I built my challenges around those moods, as a matter of fact. But I don’t feel pressured to read the latest in any kind of fiction and if I want to re-read, I do so. Sometimes I blog about the book again, changing my focus from the last time I read it. Other times I just enjoy the book and leave it go only acknowledging it by including it in my “Books Read” tab. Life is too short to read what someone else wants me to read vs. my own whims.

As for the dark stuff, I would assume it is because the idea of that lifestyle is romanticized in fiction. It is adventurous and thrilling and interesting. It is the same phenomenon when a person watches or reads period fiction and has some small desire to live back in that time. None of us would really like it–no air conditioning, fewer book choices, no internet–and yet it is very romantic to imagine living then and so we do that vicariously through fiction. You sound pretty normal to me. :)

I don’t feel pressured to only read new books, it’s that the new stuff is so damn tempting, constantly yelling “look at me! I am new and shiny! and I have a trailer!”

I did romanticize living in the middle ages until I read Connie Willis’s The Doomsday Book. a village ravaged by the plague? yup, that cured me of my time travel dreams! I want to read about my romanticized awful lifestyles. . . in the comfort of air conditioning, antibiotics, and twitter.

You should check out the Dark Ages documentary from the History Channel. That too will rid you of a lot of romanticism for earlier times. :)

I reread quite a bit, though I always leave around a year between each reading. I also rereview, if I still reallyreallyreally want to talk about the book I’ve just reread. The reviews appear far enough apart that I hope this isn’t tiresome for my readers.

As far as blogging panels go, I did attend a reviewing panel at a convention. It was quite interesting, though there was a bit too much in the vein of, “Blogs are such uncritical upstarts” for my liking. I’d definitely attend a blogging-friendly panel, if the opportunity arose.

I used to reread all the time, and I feel like I haven’t done it much lately. must get back into it, and not allow myself to feel weird about blogging the reread.

blogs, uncritical? bah! those snobs!

It would be cool to see a panel about blogging at a SF/F convention. Of course, I’ve never been to a SF/F convention in general, but if there’s ever one nearby I’d totally go.

I always mean to reread books, but I never seem to get around to it. I did a lot of rereading in college when I didn’t have much time for reading, or when I studied abroad and only had a handful of books with me. Since I started my blog though there have just been so many new and wonderful books that I’ve discovered and want to read. I can’t get rid of books though. They’re like treasured friends.

“Since I started my blog though there have just been so many new and wonderful books that I’ve discovered and want to read.”

yup, I know EXACTLY what you mean!! :D

and yes, the are like treasured friends. . . treasured friends who are taking over my home. i love ‘em, but for the goodies that I don’t plan on ever rereading, they have got to go.

Haha, mine take over my own apartment and my boyfriend’s place. I do pass books on when I know they’ll go to someone who will read them, but I can’t bring myself to just get rid of any. I’ve decided that when I grow up (aka make more money) I’m going to have my own library with big comfy leather armchairs, floor to ceiling bookshelves, and scotch.

Ha, ha. Library explosion. I really should get rid of some books, but I’m attached to them, badly so. But, I’m going to definitely have a sort out – basically, like you say I very rarely reread them – too many new ones constantly being published and I seem to have some deep rooted fear of missing any of them (although clearly I do).
I actually don’t watch a lot of tv because most of ours (UK) is just reality bs and frankly once you’ve seen one wife swap/learn to drive/big brother, etc, etc, etc, – you’ve seen them all! Boring. Which dark fiction is not! And that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. Ta da.
Lynn :D

i think the UK got the idea from us. We’ve been doing shite reality tv for like 20 years, and it only gets worse and worse and worse! BBCAmerica is mostly hours of Top Gear (which is a pretty funny show), Gordon Ramsey screaming at people, and strange shows about obese women or women who have at major breast enlargements.

Ooh, ponderings! I’m always up for those – and you’re not the only one with regard to TV. I can snuggle down with a good book; watch a film, but television – nope. Meybe it’s just the episodic nature (or the fact I could be reading a fair less simplified book.)

As for rereads, I do a mix. I’ll often review or do some new thoughts on reread favourites alongside newer releases so I’ve got a good variety out there. But yep, I pretty much reread when I feel like it. Nodody’s going to keep me from my beloved Kay collection and live to tell the tale! :P

there’s stuff that I read last year, and did a review on, and already want to reread. I’ve reread stuff that I read like 5-10 years ago, and am finally blogging about.

nice to know i’m not the only one with tv adhd issues!

For me, personally, I always thought of reading as more of an exploration than as escapism, for some of the same reasons you listed.

I used to not watch TV, but it had more to do with the fact that I couldn’t commit to watching something at the same time every week. I need to work on my own time. Hulu’s been changing the not watching tv thing for me.

that’s another problem I have – it’s tough for me to say “I’m going to watch this show every Friday at 9pm”. not only do i work weird hours and never know when I’m going to be home. . . but even worse I have a helluva time remembering what day of the week it currently is!

I rarely if ever have *time* to reread–I always feel horrible for neglecting my TBR pile/mountain. I consider it sort of a guilty pleasure when I manage to find the time, since there are some books I dearly love to reread.

This is especially stupid when you consider that, although I don’t watch a lot of TV currently, I used to watch movies like LotR/Star Wars/Harry Potter or reruns of Project Runway ad nauseum, whenever they were on. Should’ve spent some of that time rereading! Haha.

i feel guilty sometimes too. so many new shiny sexy things to read.

ahhh, Project Runway, my secret guilty pleasure!! when is the new season of that starting? sorry, but that show is totally worth skipping an evening of reading for!!!!

I don’t know when, actually! I didn’t (am not? haven’t paid attention) watch any All Stars, because excuse me, no Tim Gunn!?! But I am looking forward to the next full season.

Yeah, you really gotta watch out for papercuts when you’re living the rough-n-tumble life… Don’t forget about the cathartic effect of reading about any of those dark topics. That’s important too, even if you wouldn’t ever actually live that way, and it doesn’t really have to be a wish.

As a part of HEP, I’ve already had to read one book that I’ve read before and I was actually able to turn it into a fun review (for me). It had been so long since I had read it, my perspective had changed quite a lot and I kinda wrote about that. I’d be totally okay with reading someone else’s reread too.

The blogging panel sounds cool, but why do you ask??

it is really cathartic, isn’t it? I wonder why that is? maybe to show people can overcome all that terribleness?

For books that it’s been 5-10 years since I last read, the new perspective is always interesting. the first time I read M John Harrison, it was a life changing event. the 2nd time through (and I blogged about it) was more of a WTF moment than anything else.

As far as rereading goes, it is your blog and I believe you can write about whatever the fuck you want to write about. You post often enough that followers will still see new books and I am sure on rereads you would come up with something new.
I gave up live TV access cause it is an expense and I don’t really need more than the Netflix type break every once in awhile. I’d rather read, too, unless I am not feeling well.
Keep it up. You are doing great!

Stacy, I am so proud of your filthy language! Keep it up! :D

We have talked so many times about ditching cable, and when it comes down to it, Charter wants so much $ for the remainder of the bundle that it’s easier to just give in and pay. those jerks. me and streaming netflix have become very good friends.

and thank you! :D

Hehehe…Thank you! and my pleasure :-)

I gave up on tv years ago – tho still have Netflix streaming. Don’t miss the tv. I reread a few books a year. i find audio is a good way to reread something. You could build a few reread follow alongs into your year and get some posts out of them.
damn – now I want to reread some comfort food books – Kushoel’s Dart, Wiseman’s Fear, Lions of Al-rassan.

I am jealous of you being able to sit down a read for 3 hours straight…DAMN..;)

We(my wife and I) do not really watch live TV either. We watch whatever we have DVR’d. We at least watch Jeopardy everyday, but that is about 10PM.

About the Sci-Fi Convention, I have never had the pleasure of experiencing on, so I am not that sure about answering that question.

Have a great day.

no kids, no life. except for twitter. ;) there are evenings where the other half and I will unplug the phones, grab our books and beverages of choice, and enjoy each others company as we read our books.

It doesn’t sound like you’re looking a dark TV series but if you feel like dabbling, Battlestar Galactica is pretty dark and bleak at times. The new version, of course, not the 70′s version. Also, the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones is, well, pretty faithful to the books and lots of really bad things happen to characters who have varying degrees of likeability.

I am a TV junkie, but I try to keep it under control. I do have my guilty pleasures and I’ve whittled it down to a couple of shows I must see and then some that I let stack up on the DVR before viewing.

Interesting to see someone with a similar regret–the literature class, not the gaming one. :) I wish there had been a sf/f class at some point during my lifetime, if only to have some guidance in finding some of the bigger books in the genre and to understand how they fit into the overall literary category. I joined my first real world book club in an attempt to find some guidance to what I might like to read next…because let’s face it, every book says on the cover it’s the best book ever and that you should read it.

That’s extended to the world of blogging…LOL

As for meeting bloggers in real life, I’ve met some local ones and it’s gone pretty well. Not sure how it’d work at a con as I’ve not been to one in years.

oh, I LOVED Battlestar Galactica!! and Game of Thrones is pretty awesome too, I agree that for the most part they are doing a great job staying faithful to the books. I’ve read through book 4, but haven’t read book 5 yet.

I think my last English class was 11th grade, and it was mostly Shakespeare and a teeny bit of Russian stuff. A SF creative writing class would have been wonderful, but I’m desperate even for just a literature class, just some familiarity with classic literature and such. I’d love to enjoy the new Tim Powers, but I was so lost amongst the references in The Stress of Her Regard, how could I hope to keep up with this new one?

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About this redhead, etc.

Redhead is a snarky, non-politically correct 30-something who reviews mostly science fiction and fantasy and talks about all sorts of other fun scifi and fantasy geekery. She once wrote a haiku that included the word triskaidekaphobia.

This blog contains adult language and strong opinions. The best way to contact her outside of this blog is twitter, where she is @redhead5318 .

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